Get Lost in Venice, Italy

I love Venice. When I talk to most people they either love it or hate it. Those who hate it rattle on about the high prices, crowds and heat. To a certain extent they are right. The main attractions, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doges Palace, had a steady line of at least 100 people when I visited in September. The soaring mid-day temperatures and crowds sent me steering clear of all the packed alleys, streets and tourist sites. Of course I wanted to see the sites, they are spectacular, but what I realized is that the true romance and beauty of Venice is found when you simply wander the city and get lost.

No city map seems to be exact or to scale. Streets are alleys with hidden twists, turns and dead ends. It’s an open labyrinth that’s big enough to get lost in but small enough to always find your way back. The labyrinth of Venice has endless bars and eateries offering one of a kind wines, prosecco, and small bites of delectable food around every corner. The city's unique romance and magic truly comes alive when you are wandering. I'm not suggesting that you skip the famous sites, but be sure to plan on spending a day just getting lost.

A few recommendations for getting lost:

Bring a map – it’s always nice to be able to find your way back when you truly have no idea where you are. I consider myself good with directions and Venice had me all turned around. It’s fun but you’ll need a map to reference when you want to get back home.

Bring your Camera – the beauty of Venice is more apparent then ever in the quiet alleys and waterways. Bright colors and aged walls, it’s a photographers heaven.

Wear comfortable shoes - I know, you are in Italy and everyone around you is in designer heels and boots. It’s tempting to join in, but trust me if you are going to put in three to six hours of exploring this city, wear your tennis shoes. Save the heels for dinner.

Know anyone visiting Venice soon? Please feel free to share this article with them. Here are a series of photos from my time getting lost in Venice. 

Hitting an unexpected dead end
Bridge and waterway in Venice, Italy
Signs leading to Piazza San Marco are throughout the city
Aged walls in Venice, Italy
I love the color of the boat in this picture
For more pictures from my adventures in Venice visit my Venice Photo Essay: A Day in Venice.

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